Modern electronic charting systems are magnificent, and can be overlaid with radar and AIS targets; and weather maps.
The cartography can also include photographs (especially from the air) that make interpreting the chart easier.
A variety of views, including perspective and (in some systems) 3-d views are also available.
The problem is that most dedicated plotters do not easily allow the user to access the images for data or use in Logs. That is where PC based systems really score. If linked to the yacht instruments and gps, with some form of AIS and/or radar feed, the computer effectively becomes a data logger. All the information collected can be processed manipulated and displayed to form part of the Log.
I have been using PC based charting systems, and now use the Australian Software on Board system to display C-Map cartography.
We look at three ways in which charts can be used in Logs. See the panels on the right